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HomeZoology BlogsHydrozoa course 2022 version – as advised by our MSc scholar Ana...

Hydrozoa course 2022 version – as advised by our MSc scholar Ana González


Final month, our mission NorHydro (along with ForBio Analysis College of Biosystematics and mission MEDUSA) organized a course on range, systematics and biology of Hydrozoa on the Marine Organic Station in Espegrend. Fifteen members from 9 totally different nations got here all the best way to Bergen to be taught extra about these intriguing animals, share their concepts and initiatives, and begin new collaborations. We requested one of many youngest members of the group –our extremely motivated scholar Ana González– to share with us her ideas in regards to the course and her experiences together with her MSc mission. That is what she needed to say:

After I began my Grasp’s Diploma of Marine Ecology on the College of the Balearic IslandsI already knew in regards to the existence of hydrozoans, however I had no thought how attention-grabbing these animals really have been. After some discussions, a variety of studying, and a good quantity of photos of hydroids and hydromedusae, I made a decision to work with these inconspicuous invertebrates for my MSc mission underneath the supervision of Dr Luis Martell (College Museum of Bergen) and Dr. Maria Capa (College of the Balearic Islands). My mission goals to guage whether or not we are able to use the benthic communities of hydrozoans as bioindicators of anthropogenic influence on the easternmost coasts of Mallorca Island, within the Mediterranean Sea.

Me on a sampling day in search of benthic hydrozoans on the marine reserve of Cala Gat (high). A better view of the exhausting substrates I pattern within the marine reserve (backside left). The frequent hydroid Monotheca obliqua rising on Posidonia oceanica (backside proper). Image credit: Maria Capa and Ana González.

Coastal areas are a gorgeous place to dwell, and these habitats present ecosystem companies that contribute vastly to the economic system of the world, however a nasty administration of them can generate essential damages and drastic adjustments within the ecosystem. One approach to monitor environmental impacts in these habitats is by observing the response of their organic communities, so for this mission I made a decision to check the assemblages of benthic hydrozoans in two reverse websites with totally different ranges of anthropogenic influence: a harbor and a marine reserve. Furthermore, I’m evaluating the communities in several seasons of the yr, and I’ll analyze the assemblages rising on exhausting substrates (like rocks) and in addition these rising on a vital Mediterranean delicate substrate: the endemic seagrass Posidonia oceanica.

Some hydroids frequent in my research space are these belonging to genera Clytia (household Campanulariidae, left), Sertularella (household Sertularellidae, center), and Aglaophenia (household Aglaopheniidae, proper). Image credit: Ana González.

At the start, working with benthic hydrozoans was very difficult for me for the reason that specimens I discover are simply ignored if one will not be looking fastidiously for them. However the extra time I dedicate to watch these organisms, the extra curious I turned about their identification and dynamics, and the better it was to acknowledge them within the samples. Nevertheless, figuring out hydrozoans is a troublesome process and I spotted early that I wanted some assist, so I used to be very pleased when the chance arose to use for the course “Range, Systematics and Biology of Hydrozoa” in Bergen. There, I had the prospect to satisfy among the main scientific consultants within the area that helped me perceive higher the taxonomy and ecology of those animals. I couldn’t have imagined how a lot I used to be going to be taught in the course of the totally different actions of the course, however on the finish these organisms have been in a position to catch my consideration and time flew between lectures, sampling journeys, and laboratory work. One facet of the course that I notably loved is the truth that it introduced collectively members with totally different trajectories in science, and everyone was pleased to share their experiences on this planet of hydrozoan science.

We had all types of climate in the course of the course: rain, solar, wind, and even snow! Image credit: Lara Beckmann and Joan J Soto Àngel.

We had the prospect to pattern on board the UiB analysis vessel Hans Brattström and we collected a number of planktonic and benthic hydrozoans within the fjords across the Marine Station. After every sampling occasion, we went again to the lab to kind the samples, discover the hydrozoans and determine them to species. The plankton samples have been often the primary ones to be processed, since hydromedusae are fairly fragile they usually are inclined to endure morphological damages after being sampled with a web. We tried to determine all specimens to species stage, with assistance from the stereomicroscopes and scientific literature with identification keys that the curse offered. The benthic samples have been positioned in aquariums to maintain the organisms alive after which every of us had the chance to watch the specimens in our personal stereomicroscope.

A sampling day on board of RV Hans Brattström. High left: deploying the plankton web. High proper: a full cod-end with plankton pattern. Center proper: college students and academics prepared to go away the pier. Backside: benthos sampling with the triangular dredge. Image credit: Lara Beckmann, Sabine Holst, Luis Martell

High proper and left: college students and academics on the laboratory, figuring out hydrozoans. Backside left: trying to find hydromedusae and siphonophores within the plankton pattern. Image credit: Sabine Holst and Lara Beckmann.

All collectively, we have been capable of finding and determine greater than 40 species from all the primary teams of hydrozoans, together with siphonophores, trachylines, leptothecathes, and anthoathecates. Working with hydromedusae was new for me and I found that observing them was tougher than figuring out the polyps, nevertheless it was additionally attention-grabbing in its personal means. The hydrozoans that caught my consideration probably the most have been the polyps from the suborder Capitata, as a result of their morphology may be very totally different from the hydroids that I’ve noticed in my MSc mission to this point. Capitate hydroids don’t have a protecting theca, they possess tentacles that find yourself in a ball of nematocysts (so-called capitate tentacles), and they’re absent from virtually all my samples from Mallorca, that are as an alternative dominated by hydroids belonging to the Order Lepthothecata.

High: Colony of Sarsia lovenii (Anthoathecata: Corynidae) with gonophores (i.e. reproductive buds on the polyp physique). You can even see the capitate tentacles, which finish in a ball of nematocysts and are typical for suborder Capitata. Backside: Colony of Clava multicornis displaying additionally gonophores on the polyp physique, however with filiform (non-capitate) tentacles. Image credit: Lara Beckmann (high), Joan J. Soto Àngel (backside).

My curiosity for hydrozoans, the good set of consultants we had as academics, and the charismatic animals that we collected have been the right mixture for me to have an unbelievable expertise on this course. I believe that programs like these are a superb alternative for rookies to be taught with consultants from totally different components of the world. Interacting with all of those wonderful individuals was very rewarding at each cultural and scientific ranges, and this complete expertise motivated me to maintain on finding out these attention-grabbing animals which might be part of the advanced functioning of our oceans.

-Ana

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